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Instability of the cervical spine in children: symptoms, treatment

The seven vertebrae of the cervical column have the stability and at the same time great mobility. They provide smooth movements of the head. Often parents hear the diagnosis of instability of the cervical spine in children. He speaks of the existence of problems in the ligaments or the presence of birth injury of the baby's spine.

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The types of instability

The instability of the SHOP (cervical spine) causes headaches, decrease academic performance in school, a newborn often cries, badly sleeps. With such problems the parents go to the neurologist, pediatrician. For proper treatment it is important to determine the type of violation. One distinguishes four main types of instability:

  • Degenerative (a consequence of pathological processes);
  • Dysplastic (abnormality of tissue and joints);
  • Instability after injury;
  • Instability after surgery.

Some types of instability accompany the child from birth, some occur in the course of life, as a consequence of a serious illness or injury.


The reason for instability of the cervical vertebrae, in most cases, is birth trauma. It is the result of improper flow of the generic process. The most common cause disorders are rapid delivery. In a short time the active phase of labor the baby does not have time to prepare for the exit and gets a neck injury.

Prolonged labor can lead to serious injury. The result of many hours of pressure on the child's neck vertebrae get damage to the tissue around become swollen. A similar result is obtained as a consequence of entanglement neck of the fetus by the umbilical cord.

Causes degenerative instability are destructive processes that result from disease (arthritis, osteochondrosis).

In addition, not infrequently there are problems with the cervical spine in injury and surgery.


The clinical picture of the disease is not immediately. Often the symptoms of trauma begin to disturb the child at the age of three years. At this age the baby's activity increases. He is not a baby. While the muscles of the neck develop, and ligaments of the cervical become weaker.

This situation affects the supplying arteries, which are compressed and does not serve the blood to the brain. The brain experiences oxygen deprivation, the child's complaints appear: frequent headaches, dizziness, absent-mindedness, fatigue, irritability. With such symptoms should consult a neurologist, he will determine if the child instability of the cervical spine.

Sometimes the violation manifests itself immediately after birth. In an infant occurs muscle weakness of the upper extremities, can be detected neurogenic torticollis. With timely treatment to the doctor with this condition respond well to adjustment.

A symptom of instability of the cervical spine is the delay of speech development.

Since the brain is poorly supplied with oxygen, this leads to the fact that the child is a long time not talking. Timely treatment stimulates leapfrog development of speech.

proyavleniya nestabilnosti shejnogo otdela


This problem deals with the neurologist. He performs diagnosis in two phases. First is the medical history and examination of the child patient. Followed by instrumental diagnostics (x-ray, ultrasound).

A preliminary examination

Already a visual inspection gives reason to make the preliminary diagnosis. Patient exhibits changes in vision: the eye slit is narrowed, the eyeball itself can sink a bit, narrowing the pupil. The combination of these symptoms tells about the infringement of the nerves innervating the eye.

Next, the doctor pays attention to the position of the head relative to the shoulder girdle. If the headtipped to shoulder to speak of neurogenic torticollis. Palpation shows an uneven tension, clamp trapezius muscles. It is often one of the parties experiences a greater voltage, and the second is almost atrophied.

The doctor presses the upper apophysis of the cervical spine, instability of SHOP touch painful. Characteristic is the limitation of tilting the head to one side.

Instrumental diagnostics

For accurate diagnosis requires x-ray of the cervical from several perspectives. Particularly revealing lateral projection with a functional test. To obtain the snapshot first, you bend your head forward, then tilt back. For the diagnosis of subluxation of the cervical vertebrae is applied through the open mouth. MRI for diagnosis not significant.

Ultrasound shows the status of the vertebral arteries, a fulness of blood flow of the brain, violations of the outflow of venous blood. This study one of the required diagnosis.


The treatment efficiency is achieved by set of activities. The treatment consists of a series of procedures. Drug treatment consists of receiving vasodilator drugs, sedatives. Headaches are assigned pain medication. If there is a subluxation of the vertebra, it must be put in place. This can be done with the help of osteopathy.

Deep massage addresses violations of the SHOP, stimulates the cerebral blood circulation. After the session you should lead a gentle lifestyle, it is advisable to wear a protective collar Trench.

Relaxing overly tight muscles of the cervical achieved the classic massage. Simultaneously strengthened and restored the atrophied muscles. In parallel, doctors recommend to undergo sessions of physiotherapy. Electrophoresis improves the condition of blood vessels, stimulates the cerebral circulation.

Physical therapy establishes the result of the previous procedures. Exercises should be done constantly. Infant daily doing gymnastics with my mom. So the neck muscles will be strengthened and will not go back to a painful condition. Good prevention of violations of the SHOP is access to the pool. If the timely initiation of treatment, the instability is completely eliminated.